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Am J Psychiatry. 1987 Oct;144(10):1283-7.

A controlled study of lifetime prevalence of affective and other psychiatric disorders in bulimic outpatients.

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  • 1Epidemiology Laboratory, McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA 02178.


The authors used structured diagnostic interviews to assess the lifetime prevalence of psychiatric disorders, by DSM-III criteria, among 70 women: 51 outpatients with active bulimia and 19 nonpatient subjects with remitted bulimia. Comparison groups consisted of 24 female outpatients with major depression and 28 nonpsychiatric control subjects. The active and remitted bulimic subjects closely resembled each other, with high lifetime rates of major affective disorder, anxiety disorders, and substance use disorders. Atypical depression was equally common among subjects with major affective disorder in all groups. These results are consistent with previous studies suggesting a phenomenologic relationship between bulimia and major affective disorder.

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